27 November 2015

Biocompatible antimicrobial extends shelf life in foam packaging

Innovative technology developed by Parx Plastics is derived from bio-mimicry

Erze Ambalaj, the largest producer of expanded foam food packaging in Turkey produces around 15 million food trays a day from their two locations in Turkey. The company went in search of a safe biocide for its product line up and discovered Parx Plastics, a Dutch-Italian start-up headquartered in Bologna and Rotterdam.

The antimicrobial technology developed by Parx Plastics is derived from bio-mimicry and free of biocides. Yet it significantly reduces the growth of Salmonella, Listeria, E.Coli and Staphylococcus Aureus on, among others, packaging of all kinds. Erze and Parx Plastics spent the last several months researching the best solution for incorporating this innovative technology into foam packaging in an economical way, with the aim of incorporating this into Erze’s entire line-up.

The results of the combined efforts are an antibacterial performance, measured according to ISO 22196 by the independent University of Ferrara in Italy, of 92,5% against Listeria, 96% against Salmonella and up to 96,5% against Staphylococcus Aureus. This means that this improved food packaging has, scientifically proven, 93-97% lesser bacteria on the surface of the material after 24 hours compared to normal packaging of the same kind.

According to Erze, the presence of Listeria and Salmonella specifically is an increasing challenge for the market of packaged meats, poultry and fish. Parx Plastics provides a solution that is both effective and economically feasible. The company is now implementing the technology into the entire line of food packaging products.

By reducing the presence of bacteria after the manufacturing of the packaging material, during the transport of the packaging material, during packaging of the food and during the shelf life period of the product the ultimate conditions are created to prevent contamination and to have the best possible shelf life for the product.

Parx’ technology is derived from bio-mimicry and makes use of one of the most abundant trace elements in the human body, i.e. zinc, to effect a change in the mechanical/physical property characteristics of the material.

The non-toxic, environmentally friendly technology does not require the use of biocides, eliminating the danger of resistance, but works solely by changing the material’s surface properties. The trace element used is compliant with European regulations for plastics that come into contact with food and does not migrate from the packaging.

Source: Bioplastics Magazine, 2015-11-24.

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